Interested in a dairy-free butter? Well you’ve come to the right place! Dairy free butter, aka, ghee, is “clarified butter.” Ghee has been removed of most the casein, whey, galactose and lactose. Ghee is 99.3% butter fat, while butter is 80% fat . Ghee still tastes amazing. Ghee is shelf stable for a couple months and can be refrigerated for longer. However, ghee can be fairly expensive. But why not make it at home? Patience and time are necessary, especially when you are first learning how to make this delight. Here are a couple links to ghee recipes:

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Ghee can be used in place of butter, and doesn’t leave a sugary coating to pans, or your skin. Use it like coconut or olive oil on your scalp and skin for better health! Ghee has a higher smoke point than butter, 450 degrees! Per tablespoon, compared to butter, ghee has less sodium, less sugar, and more of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K, and Choline. Also, because of the short-chain fatty acid butyrate content, ghee can improve the quality of digestion, and bring down inflammation.

Feel free to contact me with questions, comments, or concerns. Or sign up to leave a comment!

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Resistant Starch

A resistant starch (aka “safe starch”) is a starch that resists digestion in the small intestine, resulting in very little caloric value for the consumer. This non-digestion also means that the starch is not converted into glucose, benefiting those with diabetes. There are a few different types of resistant starch. Type one is “physically inaccessible [by the digesting enzyme], such as that in whole grains.” Type two resistant comes from the granules of starch being tightly packed together. Such foods that contain this type of starch are raw potatoes and bananas. Type two is also marketed as “Hi-Maize.” A third type of safe starch is marketed as “Novelose” and develops when a starch is cooked and then cooled. The cooling process allows for the components of the starch to form crystal-like structures, therefore making it harder for the digestive enzymes to digest it. (Zaman, S., Sarbini, S., 2015; Ordonio, R., Matsuoka, M., 2016). The resistant starch does not have to be eaten cold; it’s okay to warm it (Sission, 2014). Type four resistant starch (Fibersym) is chemically modified and type 5 is where the amylase joins with lipids (fats) to make heat-stable composite (Zaman, S., Sarbini, S., 2015; Ordonio, R., Matsuoka, M., 2016).

The rate of digestion of the resistant starch is dependent on the amylose content, the more there is the slower the digestion. This is not a bad thing, because with slower digestion the blood sugar is more stable and one feels satisfied longer. Resistant starch type five may take several hours to digest, if at all. This is because of the complex that is formed with the lipid, which repels water and limits the swelling of the starch grain Also, the starches that are high in amylase are smooth and therefore resistant to the digesting enzyme (Zaman, S., Sarbini, S., 2015; Ordonio, R., Matsuoka, M., 2016).

There are benefits of resistant starch for instance preventing cancers such as colon cancer, feeding the good bacteria (acting as a prebiotic), working as a fiber—creating bulk for the stool, and sustaining hunger without raising the blood sugar too much (a great plus for diabetics!). With resistant starches, one feels full, while not adding many functional calories to their diet (Zaman, S., Sarbini, S., 2015; Ordonio, R., Matsuoka, M., 2016). However, resistant starches do not show to decrease the amount of gas produced compared to non-resistant starch.

As always, thanks for stopping by! Please comment with a question, suggestion/criticism. I am always up for a nutritious discussion (pun intended)!

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Now, don’t go bananas over what you are about to read.  What a boatload of benefits these delectable fruits contain.  The flesh and the peel both have benefits of their own.  Bananas contain dopamine and serotonin.  I guess that’s why bananas are always smiling!  Okay, just kidding about the smiling part.  They are, however, antidepressants!  Bananas have high levels of antioxidants and amino acids including tryptophan.  Bananas also have the ability to reduce one’s blood sugar which is great news for diabetics. Bananas and their peels can reduce oxidative stress, something that daily life stresses and emotional stress can trigger.  Bananas have also been found to enhance memory.  So next time you are feeling a little down and need to relax a bit, grab that banana!  This wonderful fruit helps promote sleep due to the compounds in the fruit: tryptophan, serotonin, dopamine. (Samad, N., Muneer, A., Ullah, N., Zaman, A., Ayaz M., and Ahmad, I., 2017)

Bananas are easy to digest and contain vitamins and minerals.  Banana is a great food to eat when you are sick in bed.  If struggling with diarrhea, slightly under-ripe bananas can help.  It’s the over-ripe/very ripe bananas that can stimulate the bowels. Bananas are high in potassium and iron.  If you are having leg cramps, grab a banana.  A banana’s vitamin and mineral content makes it a great way to refuel after working out.

Bananas are high in carotenoids (Vitamin A) which promote immune health and lower the possibility of diabetes, cancers, and heart diseases.  Again, the body is protected from oxidative stress by the antioxidants in bananas. Studies show that banana peel is also quite beneficial.  Consuming banana peel does not sound too appetizing, I know.  But using the extract or essential oil are other ways to reap the wondrous benefits of the fruit.

Bananas have been globally ranked as the fourth most common food. They are a great source of nutrients and are affordable (compared to meat, another source of iron and vitamin A).  If you have severe vitamin or mineral deficiency it would be wise to see your doctor, and not rely solely on bananas (Englberger, L., Darnton-Hill, I., Coyne, T., Fitzgerald, M. H., & Marks, G. C., 2003).

Here is a quick nutrition analysis of banana: a 3 to 4 ounce banana only contains about 90 calories, with no fat.  This amount of banana also contributes to the daily recommendations, such as: 10% (3 grams) of fiber, 15% of vitamin C, 28% of Vitamin B6 and 10% (467 grams) of potassium. Bananas only contain about 1 gram of banana, but the amount of fiber and mineral content and the mostly affordable cost makes it a great staple (and even comfort) food.

Here is a fun fact: Bananas and plantains are in the same family.  In fact, a plantain is a starchy kind of banana.  It is much more desirable once cooked (Englberger, L., Darnton-Hill, I., Coyne, T., Fitzgerald, M. H., & Marks, G. C., 2003).

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Have you ever wondered what that discolored carrot looking thing was in the produce department?  It’s a parsnip.  A parsnip may look like just a white carrot at first, but there are many benefits to this delicious root. Parsnips originated from Europe and Asia, but were brought to the Americas in the 1800’s (Thompson, 2011). In ½ cup of parsnip there is six percent of the recommendation of potassium.  This is good for the heart in that potassium helps to lower blood pressure.  Potassium also helps maintain health bones and muscles.  Another benefit parsnip contributes to heart health is its content of folate.  Folate decreases the amount of homocystine in the blood, thus decreasing the risk of heart disease
(“Health Benefits of Parsnips,” 2012-07-25).

One serving of parsnip also contains as much as 3 grams of soluble fiber which helps to lower cholesterol and the risk of diabetes.  The sugar in parsnips is formed from the root’s starches after the first frost of the growing season. With as few as 55 calories per serving, parsnips have a substantial amount of vitamin C, folate, and manganese (Thompson, 2011). Vitamin C promotes a healthy immune system, strong bones, and rids the bodies of toxins, thus decreasing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.  To keep the vitamin and minerals in the veggie, avoid water contact, either roast or steam the parsnip (“Health Benefits of Parsnips,” n.d.).

Folate is beneficial for warding off depression, vision and hearing loss due to age, and is also important in the formation of DNA and red blood cells. Do not forget this important B vitamin that provides for a health nervous system and energy metabolism. Folate is also vital for pregnant women to prevent birth defects in the child (“Health Benefits of Parsnips,” n.d; Mercola, n.d).

The Journal of Nutritional Therapeutics mentions that parsnips are good for decreasing the chance of type 2-diabetes due to the vitamins C and E content, and the amount of fiber. The fiber also decreases hunger and reduces the appetite which helps to manage weight and blood pressure, and thus reduce the chance of getting diabetes (Silva Dias, J. C. de, and Imai, S, 2017).

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Natural Diuretics

First I want to apologize for this blog post being so late.  I hope you all understand how busy things can get and how fast time flies.  This time of year is very busy for my family and school has me until the end of July.  After I finish these two summer classes I hope to devote more time to blogging. Anyway, let’s get to the real stuff!  Someone at work asked me about natural diuretics.  I decided to use for my blog the research I used to answer her question.  So here it is: the foods and herbs that serve as natural diuretics.

There are many herbs that help to rid the body of excess water (Story, Colleen, 2015). These can be found in the form of teas, pills, the herb flower/leaves, essential oils, and extracts.  Dandelion helps to increase urine production.  What is generally considered an overpowering weed has several vitamins and minerals. The entire plant can be used, from the root to the flowers.  Dandelion has other benefits as well such as helping to relieve stomach complaints, indigestion, and fever, improve the immune system with the vitamin C and zinc content and inflammation (Ehrlich, Steven, 2015).  A study done with mice showed that dandelion worked as well as prescribed diuretics (UHN Daily, 2017).

Another herbal remedy for water retention is parsley. Parsley is one of the better herbal remedies to choose because it spares the excretion of electrolytes (UHN Daily, 2017).  Parsley can be consumed in various forms such as oils and extracts, teas, pills, and the plant itself-dried or fresh.  There are different kinds of parsley, any of which work to reduce water retention, curly leaf and flat leaf (Italian).  Parsley can also help to help with menstrual problems, strengthening the immune system, and avoiding seasonal allergies (Rogers, Joshua, 2017).

A third herbal remedy for water retention is juniper berry.  Juniper can be found in several forms as with the previous herbs, in addition to gin.  Juniper works by increasing the rate of the kidneys and thus increasing the volume of urine produced.  Juniper berry offers a varity of others benefits to human health such as contributing to bladder health and preventing urinary trace infections.  Juniper also helps to prevent and remedy intestinal gas. In addition to maintaining health digestion and detox-ing the body this herb helps to prevent and cure gastrointestinal cramps (Baseline of Health Foundation, 2017; WebMD, LLC, 2017). Juniper oils have also been known to manage stress, worry and anxiety (Mercola, Joseph, 2017).  Like parsley, juniper does not eliminate potassium (, 2017).

Many of the herbal diuretics offer the same additional benefits as the others above.  Instead of going through each one, leading to repetition, I will list the names of a few more diuretic herbs: horsetail, hibiscus, buchu, and butcher’s broom.  If you have any questions about a specific herbal, please do not hesitate to comment or email me.  I am willing to do additional research upon request (UHN Daily, 2017;

In addition to herbal diuretics there are foods that act the same.  Foods such as watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, cranberries, carrots, eggplant, artichoke, asparagus and grapes are safe, healthy, and natural ways to fix water retention (, 2017).  The high water content, fiber and vitamins help the body in many other ways too, such as good digestion, a healthy GI tract, and strengthened immune system.

Once again, I hope you enjoyed this post.  Don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email me.  I plan to have the next post on time, July 1st!

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Cranberries have wonderful health benefits. The most commonly known benefit of cranberries is their power to prevent urinary tract infections.  Studies done at Maryland University and Rutgers University have proved the wonders of cranberries. The reason that cranberries prevent rather than treat UTIs comes from the oligomeric proanthocyanidins in the berry (, 2000).  These antioxidant components cause the production of enzymes in the urine that prevent the bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urinary tract.  Once the bacteria are attached cranberries have little benefit (Urology Health Specialists, LLC, 2016).

Cranberry benefits go beyond the prevention of UTIs, however.  Cranberries are also credited for their ability to fight a variety of cancers due to their antioxidant characteristic that comes from the phenolic acid content.  Cranberries are known to prevent breast and ovarian cancer, colon, prostate, and lung cancers. Cranberries can also help to prevent an enlarged prostate in men. Cranberries can also help to lower the triglyceride level and thus prevent cardiovascular disease.  In a study involving men and women, those who consumed the cranberry juice daily had more of a decrease in their triglycerides than those who consumed the placebo drink (Clark, Chelsea, 2016).

Cranberries can also help to prevent and recover from stomach issues including ulcers, blood disorders, Vitamin C deficiency, and viruses. There are many forms in which cranberry can be consumed: juice, fresh/frozen, and dried.  Add dried cranberries to a salad, make cranberry relish like you see at Thanksgiving (United States) and Christmas.  You can also make a smoothie out of the berries and/or the juice!  (Ehrlich, Steven, 2015).

Go easy if you are just starting out.  Cranberries are tart and acidic.  Because cranberries can interfere with the efficiency of some medication you will want to check with your doctor before consuming cranberries when you are on a medication. Also, those who are allergic, sensitive or intolerant of cranberries should not consume cranberry products without the supervision of a healthcare provider (Ehrlich, Steven, 2015).

As always, thanks for stopping by! Don’t be afraid to ask questions, make suggestions, and/or leave a comment!

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Double Whammy: Oranges & Onions and Tears

The post is a double-whammy this time! Two posts in one! I realize that I have written a post on oranges previously. This post, however, has some new information. Also, reminders never hurt!


Did you know that oranges carry an abundance of benefits?  They are not only juicy and sweet, but the nutrients in these berries can fight cancers through the antioxidant properties and the vitamin content. Just one orange can provide more than 100% of the daily recommendation for vitamin C.  Two cups of orange juice daily has been shown to reduce the pH of the urine and thus lower the chance of the development of kidney stones.  Oranges have the ability to kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi.  Rubbing orange peel on acne has been shown to reduce the outbreak. The limonene content in oranges makes orange peel and its products effective in killing houseflies and fleas. This compound is also what contributes to the citrusy smell of oranges! Orange peel contains “saponins” that have the ability to kill larvae. Saponions are glycoside compounds that also produce foam or lather (Dr. Edward group, 2016).  Oranges can also bring down inflammation.  The compound that is responsible for this quality is “hesperidin,” found in the orange peel and in the white membrane.  Hesperidin has great healing abilities and the ability to provide relief for upset stomach and constipation (Milind and Dev, 2012). The hesperidin in the oranges has been shown to bring down blood pressure. Eating oranges after a major operation such as surgery has been shown to help with the healing of the wound and reduce inflammation (Morand, Dubray, Milenkovic, Lioger, Martin, et al, 2011).

Oranges are not only flavorful, beautiful, and juice-ful, but they also house an abundance of beneficial qualities.  So add oranges to your grocery list.  As the saying goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” maybe it would be wise to rotate apple and oranges!  Any harm? No. Any benefit? Boat loads!  A cold orange is a great snack on a hot summer day.

Onions and Tears

Have you ever cut onions and started “crying?” It happens to me all too often.  I love onions, but the painful tears are a price to pay.  Why does this happen?  When the onion is cut enzymes are released and create a gas which irritates the eyes.  Yes, it’s really that simple.  Touching the eyes while cutting should be avoided as this can worsen the problem.

How can the tears be avoided in the first place?  Here are some tips: besides wearing protective goggles, using an oh-so sharp knife will result in a smoother cut and thus less of the enzyme is released.  The root holds a lot of the enzymes so be sure to keep the root in intact!  Starting with a cold onion or rinsing the onion periodically will decrease the release of the irritant.  Lighting a match or candle releases sulfur which turns off the enzymes, keeping them from bothering the eyes (VSP: Individual visual plans, 2017; Peninsula laser eye medical group, 2017).

Here is the in-depth process of the reaction that happens in a cut onion and the eye:

“1.  Lachrymatory-factor synthase is released into the air when we cut an onion.

  1. The synthase enzyme converts the amino acids sulfoxides of the onion into sulfenic acid.
  2. The unstable sulfenic acid rearranges itself into syn-ropanethial-S-oxide.
  3. Syn-propanethial-S-oxide gets into the air and comes in contact with our eyes. The lachrymal glands become irritated and produces the tears!” (Library of congress: Everyday mysteries, 2017)
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Coconut Water

Coconut water has many benefits. While there is controversy over the content of saturated fat in coconuts, research has shown that the plant form of saturated fat has a different chemical make-up compared to animal sources of saturated fat (Coulston, 1999).  Plant-based saturated fats do not raise the low-density lipid profile (“bad” cholesterol), but raise the high-density profile (“good” cholesterol).  If the individual has a current cardiovascular disease and/or hypertension, he should avoid high fat foods, including plant sources (Ganguly, 2014).  Fresh coconut water, inside the nut, is sterile.  In poor countries and in World War II coconut water is and was used as a temporary IV solution and for wound-cleaning (Prades, Dornier, Diop, & Pain, 2012).

Coconut water is beneficial for re-hydration after sports events and exercise.  Coconut water is low in fat, carbohydrates and protein, but high in antioxidants and electrolytes, especially potassium.  The nutrient content of the coconut water depends on the age of the fruit.  Coconut water for drinking comes from young (green) coconuts (Devgun, 2015; Ganguly, 2014).  Coconut water is also full of amino acids, which serve as building blocks for proteins.  The amino acids in coconut water are: alanine, arginine, cysteine, and serine.  These are higher in content in coconut water than they are in cow’s milk (Prades, Dornier, Diop, & Pain, 2012).

A study was conducted to assess the best beverage to use as a re-hydrating drink after exercise.  The drinks used in the study were water, a sport-drink, and coconut water. Coconut water showed to be most beneficial.  Coconut water was sweeter, but led to decreased symptoms of nausea, stomach upset and fullness.  The coconut water was also much easier to consume in large amounts compared to the other beverages in the study ((Prades, Dornier, Diop, & Pain, 2012).

In conclusion, while quality coconut water can be expensive, having some on hand can be beneficial, especially for athletes.  Coconut water is great to re-hydrate after spending time in the hot summer sun. Next time you go on a run, work in the garden, or cut the grass, take along a chilled bottle of coconut water.

If you have a coconut allergy, coconut water should not be consumed except under the guidance of a doctor or other healthcare provider.

Have any questions, comments or concerns? Need help choosing a top-quality coconut water? Leave a comment!  I’m always excited to hear from my members!

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Garlic (Allium sativum) is a type of plant of which the bulb portion is often used in the kitchen.  Garlic has been known for the flavor it provides in soups, stews, casseroles and stir-frys.  The benefits and uses of this plant go beyond typical household use.  Garlic is also beneficial for human health as it has the ability to ward off sicknesses and prevent illness by strengthening the immune system.  Some of the more specific ailments that garlic is known to heal are cancers, issues concerning the gastrointestinal tract for example, irritable bowel syndrome or disease, and infections triggered by bacteria, yeasts, parasites and fungi.  Due to garlic’s unique strong odor, garlic can also work to rid the body of parasites.  The major conditions garlic is used to prevent or recover from are various internal inflammations, infections.  Garlic is also known for and used to improve immunity (G. Gebreyohannes, M. Gebreyohannes, 2013).

There is no standard dosage of garlic for individuals, but the dosage is dependant on the condition being treated, the age of the consumer, and a list of other factors which healthcare providers consider before deciding that garlic is the reasonable source of treatment for the patient.  In the several different studies examined for this paper the trial dose ranged from as 4000 micrograms to as much as 2.5 grams of garlic (G. Gebreyohannes, M. Gebreyohannes, 2013; Percival, 2016).  Over the counter supplements that are available to the general public range from 0.4 milligrams of garlic powder to 1000 milligrams of garlic extract (“Garlic uses, benefits & dosage,” 2017).  Garlic extract will be more potent than garlic powder, but the most potent form is the fresh bulb. Garlic is a natural and inexpensive treatment and preventive measure for various ailments of human health.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, some of the side effects of consuming garlic especially in the raw form are bad breath, bad body odor, a puffy abdomen, nausea and upset stomach.  The reactions to those having a confirmed or suspected garlic allergy, sensitivity or intolerance to garlic could be more severe.  Using garlic in any form to treat medically related conditions without medical supervision, or if an allergy or sensitivity is known or suspected, is cautioned against (Erlich, 2015).

Garlic’s strength and ability to treat disease and infections depend on the form of garlic that is consumed by the individual.  Garlic works best in the natural state, in other words, from the raw bulb which has been chopped, smashed, pureed, rather that in other forms such as powders or teas (Arreola, et al. 2015).  “The sulfur compounds found in fresh garlic appear to be nearly 1000 times more potent as antioxidants than crude, aged garlic extract” (Gebreyohannes, Gebreyohannes, 2013).  Crushing the bulb is important because it is in this process that allicin is activated.  Allicin is stimulated when allicin interacts with garlic’s natural enzyme, alliinase, which happens when the bulb is disfigured (Khalil, et al. 2015).

Garlic works to strengthen the immune system by inhibiting the factors that are involved in the inflammatory response.  Some of these factors include the cytokines, THF-a and IL-1b prostoglandin-E2, and the chemokines (Rabe et al. 2015).  Garlic is a safe, natural, and affordable medicinal treatment to certain conditions under the supervision of a doctor or another healthcare provider.  Garlic’s method of action lies in the natural compounds, such as allicin, which work to trigger the activation of the T cells in the blood.  These natural compounds are a type of lymphocyte in the blood that work to inhibit the release of the immune system’s neurotransmitter, histamine.   In one study, laboratory test animals were given garlic to treat the inflammation of the fat cells caused by lipopolysaccharides.  There was a decrease of inflammation due to the sulfur compound, allicin, which works to prevent the inflammatory response (Arreola, et al. 2015).

The elements in the garlic that enhance the immune system are the fructo-oligosaccharide sugars as well as the antioxidant-amino acid compound, Na-fructosyl arginine.  A study was carried out to test the theorized ability of garlic to bring down inflammation.  The garlic compounds reduced the cytokine and nitric oxide activity after just one hour of the test animals receiving a dose of 10-30mg/mL of the 14-kDa protein (Rabe, et al. 2015).  From this study it can be inferred that garlic has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used for this purpose under medical supervision.

In one study a group of sixty adults, both male and female, took 2.56 grams of garlic extract for a period ninety consecutive days.  Another group of sixty members of both genders served as a control group.  The purpose of the study was to test the influence of garlic on the human immune system.  The individuals who used the garlic had less severe flu and cold symptoms.  As hypothesized, the control group reported no change (Percival, 2016).

The active compounds in garlic, in particular allicin, enable garlic to have the ability to fight infections and inflammations triggered by bacteria, viruses or fungi (Gebreyohannes, et al. 2013).  “It [can]…be hypothesized that garlic acts as an immune modulator…shift[ing] the balance from a pro-inflammatory and immunosuppressive environment to an enhanced anti-tumor response leading to suppression of an emerging tumor” (Schaefer & Kaschula, 2014).  Garlic also strengthens the immune system by enhancing the activity of the natural killer cells of the immune system.  One study on garlic as a treatment for AIDS was conducted on seven subjects who daily ingested 5-10 grams of garlic extract for twelve weeks.  The results showed an increase of activity of the natural killer cells.  Other studies demonstrate that garlic is an effective treatment for both herpes and the flu virus.  Garlic works as an antioxidant to free the body of free radicals (Gebreyohannes, et al. 2013).

Having a well-balanced diet of fresh produce, including garlic, can greatly benefit the immune system and help the body to fight various illnesses, infections, and inflammation.  Adding garlic to one’s daily diet is beneficial for strengthening the immune system and preventing viral infection, bacterial overgrowth and infections, and preventing cancers from taking over in the body.  The sulfur compounds of garlic are responsible for the benefits garlic has on health.  The maximum benefit of garlic is reaped fresh garlic soon after the bulb has been disfigured.  Allicin changes form with time and is therefore no longer beneficially potent, garlic’s benefits on the immune system decrease with time after crushing the bulb (Schäfer, et al. 2014).

The anti-inflammatory response that garlic has on the immune system comes from the ability of the thiosulfinate, allicin, in the garlic that binds with the amino acid cysteine and inhibits the activity of the immune system’s inflammatory response.  Garlic also inhibits the activation of the pro-inflammatory response factor of the B-cells, suppressing the action of the cytokines (Zardast, et al. 2016).

Garlic is a natural remedy for the treatment of Helicobactor pylori (H. pylori) infections.  H. pylori is a bacteria that is a common disease-causing agent in the stomach creating inflammation.  A study was performed with a control group as well as fifteen individuals including four males and eleven females.  These individuals registered positive for a H. pylori infection.  The fifteen control group participants took three grams of fresh garlic two times a day over the course of three days.  The results showed a decrease in the population of the H. pylori bacteria in the group that consumed the garlic (Zardast, et al. 2016).

Using garlic, especially in the form of oil, as a treatment, appears to be more easily accepted by patients as opposed to drug treatment due to the intolerance of antibiotic and anti-parasitic drug treatments.  Several strands of H. pylori are antibiotic resistant and as a result the bacterial infections diseases do not respond to the use of an antibiotic treatment.  Various treatments have been shown to be ineffective and there was a reoccurrence of the infection shortly after concluding the drug treatment.  Garlic, however, has been tested and has shown to be affective as an in-vitro treatment for preventing bacterial infections such as Salmonella, Escherichia coli, and streptococcus-A. “Such inhibitory effects of garlic are even more marked than those of penicillin as 1mg of allicin is as effective as 15 standard units of penicillin.”  The compounds work in this way by inhibiting the manufacturing of nitric oxide which is involved in the inflammatory response.  With this in mind, garlic can be used in medical treatments.  Regardless of the medical condition, however, the use of garlic to treat and to prevent bacterial infections should be discussed with a healthcare provider before disregarding traditional medical treatment (Zardast, et al. 2016).

Garlic’s natural disease fighting properties are more effective than some prescribed medications and drugs.  There was an in-depth study done to test the effects of garlic on artificial joint infections when combined with the drug vancomycin, instead of using the drug or saline alone. This study builds on the previous in-vitro studies, and proves the benefits of garlic in-vivo.  The author includes a study performed on New Zealand rabbits that had colonies of Staphylocococcus epidermisis injected in the lab into the right knee joint.  There were four groups of rabbits in this experiment. One group received an injection of garlic and vancomycin (4mcg and 20mcg/mL), another group vancomycin (20mcg/mL), the third group saline, and the fourth group allicin (4000mcg)/mL) for three days into the infected joint.  The results showed a significant decrease in the numbers of bacteria in the garlic-enhanced treatment.  This proved that garlic worked as a treatment for bacterial infections. Garlic does not allow new bacteria to form (Zhai, et al. 2014).  Garlic is a potent natural remedy that inhibits the manifestation of bacteria not only in the human body, but also in rats and other animals.

There are certain amounts of garlic that can be harmful.  Garlic can cause unpleasant effects to those who are allergic or sensitive.  Garlic thins the blood and so consuming a large amount of garlic without medical supervision can increase bleeding tendencies.  Garlic can also interact with various medications such as the Tuberculosis treatment Isoniazid, the post-organ-transplant drug, Cyclosporine, various medications that are used to thin the blood, drugs for the treatment of HIV/AIDS, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (“Garlic uses, benefits & dosage,” 2017).

There have been several recent tests and studies performed on the ability of garlic to treat a variety of medical conditions.  Garlic is also known to help prevent and hasten recovery from infections and inflammations.  Garlic has shown to be affective in both human and animal internal health.  The sulfur compound, allicin, in garlic is where the garlic gets its benefits.  Garlic works best in the fresh, raw form, and immediately after it the bulb is crushed as the allicin is more potent.  Merely because garlic is a natural plant which is cheap and safe in the kitchen, this level of safety does not mean that garlic should be taken medically without supervision.  Garlic can be harmful to individuals in certain amounts and can interfere with other medications.  Garlic can also cause mild to severe reactions in sensitive or allergic individuals.  Due to the undesired reactions that can occur from consuming garlic it is recommended that individuals talk with a medical professional, doctor, registered dietician, or other healthcare provider before making an uninformed decision to use garlic to treat any medical condition, whether severe or benign.  This medical professional will be able to assist the individual in treatment to overcome the medical condition without causing the individual unnecessary side effects and reactions.

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Today is April 1st.  Today is day when you and your friends and family might play tricks on each other. Did you know all the health benefits that are associated with laughter?   First, here are some facts about laughter from the University of Kentucky.  A child laughs an average of 300 times a day, whereas adults, most of whom are ages 18-34, only laugh 17 times a day; laughter happens most when people are together. So don’t isolate yourself!

It’s nothing to laugh at, but laughter is a calorie burner! Yes, laughing ten minutes each day burns about the same number of calories as a half-hour workout does.  A 10 to 15 minute hearty laugh can burn as many as 50 calories! (Griffin, n.d).  Laughter helps to reduce stress through many pathways. Laughter stimulates deep breathing which the brain and body tissues love.  This stress relief, in turn, will help to relax the muscles and helps with sharper mental function.  The reduction of stress from laughing also keeps one’s blood pressure in check (Whipple, Calvert, 2008).  The benefits go beyond this.

Laughter is a great treatment for depression and the moody blues. So if you ever feel sad or depressed just spend more time with your funny friend, or look up jokes, or a funny cartoon such as Chicken Little, Chip N Dale, or Foghorn Leghorn.  Cancer patients who received laughter therapy showed decreased levels of depression and anxiety before their cancer treatment (Demir, 2015).

Laughter strengthens the immune system by initiating the response of the immune system’s antibodies and other immune cells.  Laughter also promotes more restful sleep and relieves minor aches and pains (Griffin, n.d).

So why not laugh more? It’s free, healthy, and never hurts.  Okay, well if you laugh long and hard enough your sides and stomach may hurt J (Griffin, n.d).  But hey! A workout that strengthens the abs is sought for often at the expense of your wallet.  So why not save yourself some time and money by laughing more?  Doing so increases the quality of life! (The Top Ten Benefits of Laughter, n.d).

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